Ok you guys, the other day at St Vitus in Brooklyn I had the ultimate fan experience. Of course I went to NY from my home in Texas mostly to see the guys perform. So I showed up to queue at 1pm not knowing what time most people would show up (turned out most show up at doors). Well about half an hour later the band showed up to load in. I introduced myself and they knew who I was! (especially Ian, he and I have conversed on Twitter before) Well even Dave and John have been to the fan site before. And so had their tour manager Bobbie. I got them to sign my Gloss Drop vinyl cover which I'd brought. Well anyway they invited me inside to watch soundcheck and I ended up spending all afternoon with them. They took quite a while to load in all their equipment to the tiny venue. Ian's wife brought their 1 year old baby to hear some of soundcheck, it was so cute, she was learning to walk and she kept smiling at me! Ian let her play John's drums. Dave joked that she shouldn't be worried about how her dad is doing, they usually play much larger venues. Soundcheck took forever, and John was very concerned about not being able to hear the loops once the band started playing, all he could hear was Ian. Ian was complaining that he couldn't hear himself in the monitor though. It seemed like there was no solution. Dave just wanted to keep playing and not get stuck arguing. They sound checked one I didn't know (haven't listened to leak), then The Yabba, Ice Cream, and Tricentennial which they referred to by name, the only way I knew the title. I recorded a little of their soundcheck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNbG7qRatX4
Anyway I also took portraits of the band with my vintage 3D film camera which I'll have to get developed later. And took photos with the band too. Dave was the most friendly, he was all concerned about me having a good time and spent a lot of time talking to me. I told him about the leak and he said yeah he prefers not to listen to leaks either, he likes the suspense of waiting until release day and a physical release. I asked Dave why they don't play any EP songs live any more. He said they're not opposed to them, but once they learn all the new songs there's no time for the old songs. I told him my favorite is Hi/Lo and he said that is his favorite too! So I said they should play it in Dallas. I also asked Dave why he isn't on social media like Ian and John. He said he's shy about it though he did show me his Instagram account where he has some art photos similar to the ones for the La Di Da Di cover.
Then the show was amazing! Naturally I was front row center and got some good video but I only shot 2 songs to be courteous (I don't know how they feel about tapers). Also I was shooting the show with my vintage film cameras. I got Dot Com (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z7tXt9C7xo) and Tricentennial, I think (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcehKgv8grM). As for the photos, it will take some time to develop but the type of photos they will be, you can see from my Radiohead days here: http://amybrown.net/radiohead . Ian's wife was there rocking out and jumping up and down like crazy, she said it was her first night out in a year (since having the baby).
After the show, the guys hung out a long time talking to fans and the huge amount of friends they had there (37 on the guest list, I heard). I asked John for a setlist before he left the stage, of course, he was the closest to me! I thanked Ian and let him get to his family, then John started thanking me and literally said "We'll give you anything you want. Anything. Do you want drumsticks?" Well of course I wanted drumsticks (I got them) but I told him what I really wanted was to interview them when they came to Dallas. He said of course! Dave was also very gracious, I thanked him for the concert but he started thanking me and gave me a hug! I asked for a pick and he gave me one, saying that it might have bite marks on it. I told him it was OK because I also had one from Thom Yorke (true). He asked me to rub them together to see what happened (I have). Then I told Dave the story of how I got into Battles, because Thom listed "Atlas" on a radiohead.com playlist. Dave was so interested, and flattered that Thom was into Battles, because he really likes Radiohead. (Never mind that I had told him that story 4 years ago! He forgot?)
Well it was an amazing time. When the day started out I mentally listed my wishes for the day, and I hoped to at least meet the band and get my record signed. I had no idea I'd spend the whole afternoon with them and get to know them on a first name basis! These guys are the coolest and nicest guys, and I have met a lot of musicians! They really care about their fans and when Dave was thanking the fans on stage, especially the ones who came from far away... it felt like he was talking to me. I hope you guys get to meet them on the tour. I know that St Vitus was an extremely small venue compared to what the tour venues are going to be, it was a special show, but hopefully they will greet fans at all the shows!